Accidents galore in first snowfall
Police and fire departments are warning people that, although the depth of today's snow is shallow, the roads remain remarkably– and dangerously– icy. Consider what happened in this 3:35pm photo on Rio Road.
A maroon Toyota Camry was heading east into town, according to Albemarle police officer K. Richardson, when it spun on the icy surface and was broadsided by grey Jeep Grand Cherokee (in the background) travelling west.
"They're lucky," said Richardson, "minor injuries." Some witnesses, noticing that the Camry's passenger door was pushed all the way up to the driver's zone, speculated that a passenger (thankfully, the car didn't have one) would not have survived the impact.
Accumulations appear to be just an inch or two around Charlottesville, and the current precipitation is a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain.
The Weather Underground, in its 4:13pm forecast, calls for precipitation rates to increase from Charlottesville northeast to Washington, D.C., with Charlottesville the dividing line between snow and freezing rain.
The Weather Underground takes note of the accidents. "Even primary roads," it says, "have snow cover and are refreezing as ice within tire treads." Beware.
Sunday night update: Both the city and county schools have already announced the inevitable: they're closed Monday! (Also, City Hall and the County Office Building will delay their openings to 10am.)